KwaZulu-Natal Health MEC Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo. PHOTO: kwazulu-natal health department

PIETERMARITZBURG - Standing Committee On Public Accounts (Scopa) members have called for the naming and shaming of public servants who own companies that are doing work with government departments. 

This is after it emerged during a committee meeting in the KZN Legislature on Tuesday that there were 267 KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health officials who had companies that were doing work with the government.

“We need to be forwarded the names of the officials so that they can be made public because it has been indicated that what they are doing is not permitted by law,” said committee member Pumzile Cele.  

In the meeting, it also emerged that there were 61 forensic investigations conducted in 2016 and 2017 with 28 investigations handled by the SA Police Service. 

Committee members were insistent that any officials implicated in fraud and corruption should also be "named and shamed" as they were siphoning funds meant to provide healthcare to people. 

Scopa members said irregular expenditure, which runs into millions of rand, remains a source of concern and senior officials should work towards putting an end to it.

Health MEC Dr. Sibongiseni Dhlomo, however, told committee members that irregular expenditure was likely to continue in the department because of officials who were not following rules. 

He said the department was negotiating contracts on a month to month basis in 50 hospitals because CEOs were not planning properly. 

“There are three contracts that are important in hospitals namely security, catering and waste removal, these are contracts that run over a number of years and all that is require planning so that a new contract is advertised six months before the current one expires, but that is not happening in our hospitals,” said Dhlomo. 

He said he was pinning his hopes on the head of department, Dr. Musa Gumede, to deal with the intransigent behaviour from hospital CEOs.

Another committee member Sipho Nkosi said he was disappointed by the attitude of hospital CEOs and said the committee should formulate a resolution to deal with errant ones.

Scopa chairperson, Maggie Govender, said they were optimistic about the signs of recovery from the department after the deployment of an intervention team last year. 

“This is a significant department because it gets the second largest allocation of the provincial budget and we cannot have it in disarray,” said Govender. 

The Department received an allocation of R45 billion, second only to the department of education, which received R47 billion in the 2017/2018 financial year.

African News Agency/ANA